Jump to content

Is this a decent salary


neburr

Recommended Posts

Hi fellow Forumites

I am hoping that I can obtain some feedback on something that is troubling me.

I have had two telephone calls from prospective employers from Australia. They have asked me this dreaded question:

WHAT SALARY ARE YOU EXPECTING (in Australian Dollars)?

Now I expect that this may have been canvassed elsewhere on this forum, so I apologize if it has. However, I have tried to convert my SA salary to provide some baseline. I am unsure if this is a dangerous approach, as I have read elsewhere that some SA salaries might be overstated.

If I may ask another direct question. Is a $90-100k base salary, decent, good or very good. I do appreciate that this will depend on several factors such as seniority, experience, qualifications. I believe that there is also some talk of including a car allowance, as this is not a Junior position. Any idea what is the average or median if a car allowance is included?

As you can appreciate. I am just trying to get some idea of whether our family of 4 will be able to get by on this as a single salary.

Any help is most appreciated and welcomed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Toitjie

Depends on which field this is. In my line, HR this is a very good salary. Fantastic! My brother is a programmer and said thats too little for him, he now earns something like $160 000 or thereabouts...a salary that sadly I will not easily ever achieve!

but I think it's really good..you could live comfortably on that I think :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bradporter

I would regard that as a decent salary, seeing as though a car allowance would also be thrown in. I employ sales reps and they earn between $60-$75k p/a and they seem to survive.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bronwyn&Co

Neburr it does depend on the job too. It will help if you give more detail about that. Also - which State?

I think it will probably be ok for a family of 4 but honestly, not if you have high school kids in pvt school.

I think it will also be tight if you are living in a very expensive area.

You should be able to cover expenses but it might be difficult to save for holidays or save for a house deposit unless you get a 2nd income or you're happy to rent for a few years if your kids are small.

So the short answer imho is that you should make it.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Guys

Thank you to everyone that responded.

The position is based in Melbourne. My wife cannot work as our daughter is turning 2 in a few days. Our son is four. We are obviously not going to look at buying in the first few years. Additionally, till we understand the dynamics and the areas we intend leasing, i would imagine in more affordable areas.

We do not live extravagantly.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to go out on a limb here but in my view and from my research you could consider a comparison to South Africa as this for before tax pay per annum.

160k aud is most likely in the region of earning 800k Rands.

100k aud about 500k Rands

60k aud about 300k Rands.

So if you compare your life in SA against those rand values you most probably have a rough yard stick.

Anybody else on the forum have a rough arm length guide they can provide.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
RobertWD

What I have found is that it is all relative. Everyone will give you a perspective of their comparison to their South African lifestyle.

What I have found is that South Africans tend to accept far less than their equally experienced and qualified australian counterparts.

Had I known better I would have asked for at least 30% more than I originally accepted.

can you live on it?... of course... comfortably?. .. depending on what you define as comfortable. Private schools are expensive, but there are some really good government schools.

I wish you all the best with your journey.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anybody else on the forum have a rough arm length guide they can provide.

Try a salary survey like:

http://www.kellyservices.com.au/uploadedFiles/Australia_-_Kelly_Services/3-Business_Services/Business_Resource_Center/Workforce_Trends/2013%20Kelly%20Australia%20Salary%20Guide%20INTERACTIVE.pdf

As a few people have said, it depends a lot on where you live in Australia. Salaries probably differ by up to 20% depending on where you live.

Also, checkout UBank's site, http://peoplelikeu.com.au/ to see what people in your future suburb spend each month...

But as BradPorter indicated its amazing what people live on. I look at the cost of servicing a car, the cost of travel on public transport, cost of rent, cost of electricity etc... I don't know how you would survive on less than $90 000 per year. But most people do.

Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW!!!

Thank you everyone for the perspective and feedback. I figure that whilst having some figure in mind, it depdns so much more on several other factors.

Ultimately, it boils down to how you live of your salary.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

On a 457 visa it costs more to live because of private medical insurance and schooling.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Donovan83

I'm going to go out on a limb here but in my view and from my research you could consider a comparison to South Africa as this for before tax pay per annum.

160k aud is most likely in the region of earning 800k Rands.

100k aud about 500k Rands

60k aud about 300k Rands.

So if you compare your life in SA against those rand values you most probably have a rough yard stick.

Anybody else on the forum have a rough arm length guide they can provide.

This is pretty much spot on and is a really easy and simple way to think about the kind of life you'll be able to afford here.

Take your Rand salary, divide by 10 and multiply by 2 (or the other way round to convert back).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm also in Melbourne and supported a family of 3 (me + wife and kid) for a year (2013/14) on +-$90k. I didn't have car payments as we bought our cars cash; had a kid in private school but not one of the moerste expensive ones (+-$1500 a term); used the train a lot and had modest accommodation and lived very conservatively for that year and it was still very tight. A $20k increase on changing jobs and not the train commute and it made all the difference - some money left at the end of the month which is a first for me :blush-anim-cl:

It will probably be quite tight for you with the extra kiddie, but it will be do-able and remember that once you have some Aussie experience and proved yourself, you could earn more and you will feel it.

Someone above mentioned your visa & medical costs - that will make a big difference, especially with 2 little ones. (I had free medical and still was running hand to mouth)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bronwyn&Co

I'm also in Melbourne and supported a family of 3 (me + wife and kid) for a year (2013/14) on +-$90k. I didn't have car payments as we bought our cars cash; had a kid in private school but not one of the moerste expensive ones (+-$1500 a term); used the train a lot and had modest accommodation and lived very conservatively for that year and it was still very tight. A $20k increase on changing jobs and not the train commute and it made all the difference - some money left at the end of the month which is a first for me :blush-anim-cl:

It will probably be quite tight for you with the extra kiddie, but it will be do-able and remember that once you have some Aussie experience and proved yourself, you could earn more and you will feel it.

Someone above mentioned your visa & medical costs - that will make a big difference, especially with 2 little ones. (I had free medical and still was running hand to mouth)

CGP when you say modest accomodation, what sort of rent were you paying? I think that's the biggest budget item for most people and even $50 a week difference can make or break a budget in some cases.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi There everyone.

Thank you for the help and suggestions.

I am also so happy that there have been several new additions to the mail so that so many more people are benefitting from the chat. :blush-anim-cl:

Link to post
Share on other sites
greggle

Yeah, thanks ... this is a question that has been on my mind for a while and happy to find this thread to get some insights! I've worked hard to get to where I'm at so was fearing having a drop in salary just because I didn't know what was an equivalent in A$!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bronwyn&Co

Bronwyn - I pay $340 per week.

Oh ok that helps, it's low. I don't think it's so easy to find that kind of rental. Maybe a 2 bed 1 bath unit around us, but definitely not a house.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What I would add to the comment that 60K Aus is roughly equivalent to 300K SA, is that it is also about the lowest that you can hope to survive on in Aus (due to the higher cost of living) and still have a life.

Link to post
Share on other sites
eitai2001

What's crap is that if I were working now in SA, I'd be earning about R 550K ... but I've been told by recruiters (and based on my own research) that I'd earn about $65k - $70k with my current experience ... and with rent being 4 times the price, that's an issue. I find that on many other costs, the 20 - 30% increase in Aus vs SA is about right in terms of salary, but rent is the biggest killer (at least for someone in their 20's like me ... I don't have to worry about schools yet). My initial expectations were that I'd get about $85k to $90k, but I was wrong. This is also assuming I stay in my current career. I am going to be attempting a complete shift in my career, which may bring down the amount even more (or if I'm lucky, perhaps increase it) ... but I guess we'll see.

I plan on buying an apartment in the next 2 years, which means I have to save up between $30k and $60k to offer as a deposit if I want a decent interest rate ... because I want to buy in more popular areas as that property will then turn into a rental income apartment once I start a family. So I'm a tad worried! I need to be saving at least $2000 a month, and with my current budget based on $70k, I am only expecting to save $1.2k a month, which is not enough ... and which is lower than had I had a salary here!

Never mind the fact that my passion is flying, and I was hoping to be able to budget about $500 a month to flying ... that's probably gone out the window now ... I hope to meet some friends with planes who will take me up instead :P

On another note, what are the typical bonus systems in Aus ... is it common place to get an annual bonus, and if so, what percentage of your salary is common?

By the way, I also found this thread on Whirlpool which I found very interesting (Turns out I should have become a Mining Process Engineer in Aus!) - What people are earning:

http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2222835

Link to post
Share on other sites
Bronwyn&Co

eitai if I'm not mistaken, there are a number of SA accountants who are finding the salaries proportionately lower in Aus, unfortunately.

My BIL was in the process of working towards his CA but he has gone back into school teaching here because it pays more (having said that he was not quite finished his accounting studies). He would love to make the change but they can't afford it.

You sound like you have experience so the $70k you are hearing won't be forever. I'm also hearing that audit pays well.

Most people say you regress 10 years financially on emigration. It is a long-term mindset shift. Meh, I know.

Edited by Bronwyn&Co
Link to post
Share on other sites
eitai2001

By the way, I have created myself a budget based on my expectant income in Aus (The lower of the range of what the recruiters told me of $65k) vs my Expectant income in SA.

So this is my monthly Cost of Living budget (attached below) ... basically, at a minimum I need to stick to this. All amounts were researched on averages. I used to allocate $100 week to groceries, but based on newer research on online food sites and being a bit more savvy, I've reduced by $25 a week (to $75 a week). Also, I used an Aussie PAYE calculator to determine my expected net salary, and worked out a fixed percentage for that and applied that fixed percentage to the annual salary. So you can adjust your annual salary and still get a roughly correct figure. Or just use an Aussie PAYE calculator.

Some stuff I've taken a guess at though (Such as device insurance and life insurance - I'm more interested in income protection insurance than life insurance at this stage). I'm also not planning on buying a car for as long as possible, so I've got a monthly pass for public transport (Melbourne Zone 1 + Zone 2).

If I'm off the mark for anything, or you can provide a better idea (especially for me in Melbourne), then please let me know :) ... And if you don't mind, maybe upload your budgets for others to see ... such as those of you with kids, so others with kids can see :)


eitai if I'm not mistaken, there are a number of SA accountants who are finding the salaries proportionately lower in Aus, unfortunately.

My BIL was in the process of working towards his CA but he has gone back into school teaching here because it pays more (having said that he was not quite finished his accounting studies). He would love to make the change but they can't afford it.

You sound like you have experience so the $70k you are hearing won't be forever. I'm also hearing that audit pays well.

Most people say you regress 10 years financially on emigration. It is a long-term mindset shift. Meh, I know.

Yeah, it seems to be the case - assuming I stay in audit (or accounting for that matter) though. I have a friend who moved in June, but on a 457. He is 2 years ahead of me, and is earning $80k ... but no Super. So if he was permanent, I'm not sure if he'd be earning $80k plus super, or $80k incl. super.

But in any case, in my case, I'm trying to hit a career change. I'm setting up my CV for Junior Product Manager and Junior Strategy Consultant positions. Which I expect will earn roughly the same ... so I'm hoping for the best. I think I would get the most job satisfaction out of Digital Product Manager, so I'm going for that. I'm also hoping my mom's friend can pull some strings for me in high places, but we'll see. I just get absolutely no job satisfaction from audit, I truly hate it, and just the thought of having to work more time in audit makes me super irritable ... and I'm sure it will show in my work (and I don't want a bad perception of me), so I will take a few months to try find the position I want, rather than walk straight into the position I don't.

I'm lucky to have the opportunity to live with my sister and have food and rent covered for as long as necessary. :)

Cost of Living Budget.xlsx

Edited by eitai2001
Link to post
Share on other sites
Sunnyskies

Some comments:

- put your grocery budget back to $100, you will survive on $25 a week if you live on baked beans and toast and instant coffee.

- your gas bill will be about the same as electricity in winter

- you will need to budget for personal grooming and clothes or you won't find anyone to love you

I suggest you allocate a specific amount to savings, otherwise you will spend and then turn around to find you have no savings.

Not sure about your comment of no super on a 457, unless the law has changed. I definitely paid super when I was on a 457.

Edited by Sunnyskies
Link to post
Share on other sites
eitai2001

Some comments:

- put your grocery budget back to $100, you will survive on $25 a week if you live on baked beans and toast and instant coffee.

- your gas bill will be about the same as electricity in winter

- you will need to budget for personal grooming and clothes or you won't find anyone to love you

I suggest you allocate a specific amount to savings, otherwise you will spend and then turn around to find you have no savings.

Not sure about your comment of no super on a 457, unless the law has changed. I definitely paid super when I was on a 457.

Thanks for the reply :) ... I meant to say reduced BY $25 a week, i.e. my budget is $75 a week.

Regarding personal grooming and clothes, I shave my own hair (I keep it super short to attempt to hide my balding!) and soaps and the rest are included in groceries. Clothes, I have plenty of (I bought lots in the US), and I tend to buy as I need, rather than budget monthly ... so it generally comes out my savings. I'll usually only buy stuff on sale or old season. I have my specific clothes I only wear for going out, and they last long :)

I haven't allocated something to saving in this particular budget because I look at it as the balance = my savings. Once I get into a routine, and know exactly what my costs are and my take home salary, I will be able to create an automatic transfer of what I would like to go to savings. As it stands with my budget, I will likely be doing automatic transfers of at least $1200 per month. But personally I'm quite good on this front ... I'm an excellent saver ;)

On a side note: I only "save" 10 months a year, the other 2 months go towards my next Holiday ;)

Thanks for the Gas tip ... I'll update my budget.

He doesn't get a super, my understanding was because he is not on a permanent visa. Perhaps there was another reason. It is a Big 4 firm, so I'm sure they found some legal loophole or other.

Edited by eitai2001
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...